by Thomas Bedward July 23, 2020
When we first met Dan Wande, it came alongside the release of his debut solo EP, ‘Wings’, a sharp three-track release that was a near-flawless introduction to his old school, rock sound. A driven and polished release, it was a triumphant washed in nostalgia and emotion, encapsulating four decades of playing and composing across the snowy Swedish cityscapes. For his second solo endeavour, Dan has taken a very different course from that of his debut, saying a fond farewell to the rustic rock sounds and instead unleashing a flurry of metal anthems.
Titled ‘Way Back’, the new EP is a defiant slice of golden age metal built in three distinct tracks. Backed by his usual roster of talented session musicians and filled to the brim with the hallmarks of the genre, the EP arrives as unique musical evolution for Dan, one that is as unexpected as it is brilliant.
Opening number, ‘Angels Crying’ hits with instant appeal, crashing into existence with a raucous flurry of fierce electric guitar and thunderous percussion. Dan’s vocals howl with a new sense of force and energy, matching the power of the song blow for blow with electricity, while all around the instrumentals slice through your speakers with proficiency and undeniable power. It’s a mesmerising and instant evocative change in form, one that knocks away the dust of his previous EP and levels any possible doubts about his songwriting abilities.
In the wake of ‘Angels Crying’, second track ‘Lady Steelheart’ hits all the harder, breaking down barriers and striking hard with a quickfire medley of chaotic drums, crashing cymbals, and hard rock anthemics. It’s tactile, ferocious, and perfectly played, offering shades of rock legends like Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, and our own AC/DC. After all that power, it’s a refreshing turn of pace to hear the slow, almost ambient intro of the title track creeping into earshot with dark orchestral sound and rippling rock aesthetic. It’s a disarming track, one that leads to a full-throttle, aural assault that drives hard and sparks with a rare, dynamic sense of style. Almost operatic in its form, the title track is a fitting and uncompromising end to the EP, leaving an indelible mark that few will be able to shake.
While ‘Wings’ might have won hearts and charmed many with it’s emotive, rustic sounds, it’s ‘Way Back’ that really hits home, arriving with a sound and energy that suits Dan’s talents in perfect form. From his sharp, soaring vocals to the power and passion that lie at the heart of every track, its simply impossible to deny the sense of magnitude that Dan’s second EP brings.
You can stream ‘Way Back’ today on Spotify above, or any all major platforms including Deezer, TIDAL, Google Play, Apple Music, and more.
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